Understanding Michigan Marijuana Laws

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Understanding Michigan Marijuana Laws

Recreational cannabis became legal in Michigan with the passage of the state’s Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act in 2018. The state’s first recreational dispensaries will open in early 2020 to serve adults ages 21 and older.

As the availability of legal marijuana approaches in Michigan, get to know the provisions of the new law.

Possession and cultivation

Adults can possess up to 10 ounces of dry cannabis at home and up to 2.5 ounces in public spaces. Home-based cannabis cultivators can grow up to 12 plants.

Licensed dispensary facilities

Under the law, communities can opt-out of the recreational dispensary program. Currently, more than 500 of the state’s municipalities will not host dispensaries either because of limited retail space or concern about the impact of recreational cannabis. Citizens can also force a vote on this issue by collecting signatures of at least 5% of residents who voted in the most recent election.


Legal cannabis sales will carry an excise tax of 10% in addition to 6% Michigan sales tax. Communities that have dispensaries or small cannabis businesses will receive 15% of the resulting revenue from the state.


Although cannabis possession is legal in Michigan, residents who exceed the limits of the law can receive a fine. Civil penalties are as follows:

  • $500 for possession of more than 2.5 ounces of cannabis in public
  • $500 for possession of 12 to 24 marijuana plants
  • $500 for distribution of less than 5 ounces of cannabis

Unauthorized sale and distribution of marijuana remain a felony offense in Michigan. Crimes that fall into this category include the following:

  • Distribution of less than 5 kilograms: Up to four years in jail and $20,000 fine
  • Distribution of 5 to 45 kilograms: Up to seven years in jail and $500,000 fine
  • Distribution of more than 45 kilograms: Up to 10 years in jail and $10 million fine

Owning more than 24 plants also constitutes a felony. This conviction carries fines up to $10 million and up to 15 years in jail.

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